It's that time of year again to dust off that mixer sitting in the cupboard, line up all the baking trays on the kitchen bench, bake your favorite cookies and fill the room with aromatic spice this Christmas! I am bit late on this whole 12-days of cookies baking frenzy like every other foodbloggers been doing, but I still have few days till Xmas, so I will be making some cookies and rum balls to share with friends.
Some of you may aware that I did not own a mixer and everytime when I want to bake something, I rely on manpower. It was okay, but usually I can't get the consistency that I want to achieve. My left arm probably noticeably a little bigger than my right arm. But that's sooooo yesterday!!! Because now I am a proud owner of a spanking new Empire Red Kitchenaid mixer! It's gotta be Red - cuz it runs faster!!! (Or make yummier cakes & cookies!) Hence, I took it out for a spin last night and make a batch of Alphabet Cookies in 3 flavours - original butter, mixed spice, jasmine & green tea.
I've made 3 different flavours of the alphabet cookies, golden brown is original butter cookie, red is mixed spice flavour cookie, and the green is jasmine & green tea flavour. I basically followed Nigella's original cut-out cookie recipe and add my flavour accordingly. The recipe is real simple and successful every time guaranteed. I actually made a batch of the cookies a week ago for my dog Amelie without a mixer and I was slow, the cookie wasn't crisp but chewy, and some burnt on edges. It was a good trial & error lesson and I slowly got the hang of it and last night I have developed a maneuver how to work fast between cutting cookies and manning the cookies in the oven by swapping trays in and out quickly.
I love the smell when I was baking the cookies, the whole house just suddenly feels so homely and cosy. When the mixed spice fills the air really gives you that little touch of white winter Christmassy atmosphere. I can dream, as it is usually stinky hot in Australia for Xmas. I do not have Green Tea Mutcha Powder, so for the jasmine & green tea cookie, I used the tea leafs out of 2 Ceylong Jasmine & Green Tea teabags. I ground the tea leaves till is very fine then add it into the dough. Same for the mixed spice cookies, I simply used the Masterfood Mixed Spice sprinkle, basically it consists of - cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, so you don't have to buy them seperately.
And today, Mr D will come over and help me to make rum balls. It is a tradition actually as we both will share the work and cost to make a whole load of rum balls so we can take it to share with friends and families. So stay tuned, more baking goodness to come!
Here's my version of the recipes if you are interested.
Alphabet Cookies - Original Butter, Mixed Spice, Jasmines & Green Tea
1. 6 tbsp of unsalted butter in room temperature
2. ½ cup sugar
3. 1 large egg in room temperature
4. ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
5. 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
6. ½ tsp baking powder
7. ½ tsp salt
8. 2 tsp of mixed spice
9. 2 teabags of ground Ceylong Jasmine & Green Tea
10. food colorings - 4 drops of red, 2 drops of blue
1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving towards moussiness, then beat in the egg and vanilla.
3. In another bowl, sift and combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3.1 - (mixed spice) Add in the mixed spice together with the flour.
3.2 - (green tea) Add in the ground tea leafs together with the flour.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely.
4.1 - (mixed spice) Add 4 drops of red food colorings.
4.2 - (green tea) Add 2 drops of blue food colorings.
5. Form into a fat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
6. Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place disk of dough on it, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that.
7. Then roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4-inch.
8. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on 2 parchment or silpat lined baking sheets.
9. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes; turn the tray around half way through.
10. When they're ready expect them to be tinged a pronounced gold around the edges; they'll be softish still in the middle, but set while they cool.
Tips: Make sure not to keep all flavour cookies in one jar, as the strongest flavour cookies will take over the flavour of other cookies. For eg, you don't want your butter and jasmine & Green Tea cookies all taste like mixed spice cookies.